Mac Tip: Show More Detailed Information On The Login Window In OS X Lion

Posted in How To on 05/12/2011 by Mark Greentree


This Mac tip is provided by Mark Greentree and was originally posted on Mark’s blog – Everyday Mac Support. For more of Mark’s tips visit his site, follow him on Twitter, or browse his archive of posts here.

How To: Show More Detailed Information On The Login Window In OS X Lion

If you would like more information regarding your computer on the login window then Apple has a terminal command which will give you access to your computer name, version of OS X installed and the IP address of your computer directly on the login screen.

Details of how to do this can be found here: However, I will run through the process in a little more detail below.

Simply navigate to the Terminal application. The Terminal application is located within the utilities folder which can then be found in your applications folder.

Upon launch you will need to enter the following command:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ AdminHostInfo HostName

Please make sure that this is accurate as sudo commands used improperly can cause data loss and deletion of important system files.

Once entered then press return on your keyboard. You will be presented with the warning as shown below:

If you want to proceed then enter your administrator password and press return. If you wish to cancel then press Control-C on your keyboard to abort.

If you have chosen to proceed then when you log out and are presented again with the login screen you will not see an immediate difference. However, if you click on the time in the top right hand corner you will be shown next to the Wi-Fi logo the name of your Mac. Click again and the version and build number of the operating system will be shown. Click one final time and your iP Address will be presented.

These will stay shown for 60 seconds then disappear at which time to get them back you will need to click on the time again.

Please note that this will be available each and every time you access the login screen from here on.

Apple has not however published information on how to remove this function so at the time of writing this change is permanent.


Mark Greentree

Mark Greentree is the principle blogger and podcast creator of Everyday Mac Support. His aim is to inform users at all levels of experience how to get the most out of the Apple hardware and associated software. He is the lead host of Not Another Mac Podcast, an Apple based round table discussion with Mac users and experts from all over world.